Used 1998 Jaguar XJ-Series Consumer Reviews
This was my first Jaguar and has always been my dream car. I always joked that when I retired I would get a jaguar and guess what, I got one!! It has met every expectation I could of had. I have never driven a car so smooth and beautiful. I sure do get the looks and love every minute of it. I am averaging 26-28 MPG on the highway. I could not ask for a better car and I love love this one.
When Ford bought Jag in the mid 90s and made the improvements that had been a concern for previous Jag owners, I really got excited! I remember going to the dealership and seeing the '98 Vanden Plas in Pewter with oyster interior and thought it was the most beautiful car available at the time. I was fortunate to have some friends in the auto industry that go to auctions regularly and they came across a beauty in the Cabernet color with the oyster interior with all the options that had been immaculately cared for. I bought it from them and have had nothing but PURE enjoyment since. Rolls Royce is the only car that compares to the ride and comfort experience in my mind!
For years, Jaguar has had a poor reputation for mechanical quality. However, in my experience, that has not been the case. I bought my 1998 Jaguar XJ8 as-is for about $11,000 with 72K miles. So far I have not had unexpected mechanichal problems, just routine work. I really enjoy the vehicle. The rapid depreciation of these vehicles, in large part due to Jaguars mechanical problems of the past, makes them very affordable for your average person. Just a couple of suggestions: 1) Buy 1998 or after- thats when electrical system was replaced by Ford, 2) Make sure to get a pre-purchase inspection, and 3) if you need to buy parts, go on ebay, since the Jaguar dealer markup is huge.
I have wanted a Jaguar for quite some time, and finally broke down and bought one. There is really nothing to dislike about the Vanden Plas. I am sold, I will never own another brand of car again.
At 53,000 miles my engine failed $12,000 replacement. Jaguar offered no help, said my case was rare, but 6 mechanics said engine failures were common because of timing chain failures in engines from 1998-2002. 3 water pump failures (plastic parts). Transmission failed at 98,000. This car had 8 mechanical break downs. Maintence was $27,000. Plastic used where metal was needed.